New in Home Entertainment – November 9, 2010



New in Home Entertainment

November 9, 2010

Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World
Rated PG-13 for stylized violence, sexual content, language and drug references
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

Writer/director Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz) tells the story of a young Canadian nerd (Michael Cera) who falls in love with a mysterious new American girl (Mary Elizabeth Winstead).  Unfortunately, in order to win her, he must defeat her seven evil exes in battles to the death.  This is a prime example of a movie that was expected to succeed, and should have, but didn’t.  Perhaps the level of creativity that went into the film was too much or too different for most audiences, but despite stellar reviews and an impressive following, the movie bit the dust at the box office.  Hopefully home entertainment will be kinder to this brilliant little film that will no doubt make many critics’ top ten lists this year.  A

Love Ranch
Rated R for sexual content, pervasive language and some violence
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

Helen Mirren and Joe Pesci star in this retelling of the story of Nevada’s first legal brothel, The Mustang Ranch.  In this tale, only the names are changed as the marital bliss is destroyed between Mirren’s and Pesci’s characters when Mirren falls for an Argentinian boxer that Pesci has bought the management rights for.  Mirren’s real-life husband Taylor Hackford (Ray) directs the gritty drama and the performances are solid throughout.  While it’s an interesting story for sure, the style, just like in Ray, is more like an R-rated movie of the week.  B-

Antichrist: Criterion Collection
NR (but would be NC-17 or worse if ratings board saw it)
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

When a couple (Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg) lose their son in a freak accident, the wife goes into a deep depression that her psychotherapist husband attempts to help her deal with.  When they retreat to their cabin in the woods, the depression starts to possess her, bringing the couple into a downward spiral of evil.  I will start out by saying that this is one of the most uncomfortable films you will ever watch, if you dare to do so.  According to numerous message boards, many fans love to dissect the movie due its complex nature, but I found the subtext to be more profound than the storytelling, and the film to be more of a puzzle that I didn’t want to solve.  I like a good horror film, but this one goes too far for my taste, combining violence and pornography into an art film that is meant to be upsetting and revolting to its audience.  This Criterion edition does provide a plethora of features that will help you better understand the film, if you want to, as well as give you an insight to how director Lars von Trier pulled off the spectacular visuals.  C

Grown Ups
Rated PG-13 for crude material including suggestive references, language and some male rear nudity
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade and Rob Schneider play childhood friends who come back to their home town when their basketball coach passes away.  In an attempt to catch up, they rent a big cabin in the area and get to know each other again.  There are probably some good scripts out there that could bring these guys together, but this one ain’t it.  Less of a script and more a bad opportunity for improv, the movie plods along from one lame joke to another where the high point is five men peeing in a public kiddie pool.  While a couple of lines will bring a smile, this is low-brow humor at its worst.  D

Lie to Me: The Complete Second Season
Available on DVD

Tim Roth stars in this Fox TV drama about a psychologist with the ability to read what a person is saying, not from their words, but from their non-verbal communication such as eye and body movement.  While his ability is good for him professionally, it works against him in his personal relationships as he knows when family and friends are trying to deceive him and he acts on his knowledge accordingly.  With a personality similar to House, its hard not to enjoy watching Roth work his talents, even though I think most people hate the idea of someone judging them in this manner.  I’m very surprised that the series is still able to come up with original plot lines, as I thought for sure that this would get stale quickly, but the talented writing team churned out a strong second season with these 22 episodes.  B

Alien Anthology

Rated R
Available on Blu-ray

It’s been 31 years since Ridley Scott’s Alien played in theaters, introducing the world to one of the scariest monsters the human mind can imagine.  This long-awaited blu-ray set, features all four of the films in a beautiful box set with more special features than you could think possible.  While Alien 3 still suffers from lousy special effects and Alien Resurrection still suffers from a lousy script, the first two films, Alien and Aliens, remain two of the most horrifying films of all time and have never looked better.  Also of note is that rather than Fox only putting one version of the film in the set, each comes with the option to watch either the theatrical or director’s cut, and in these films, the directors cuts are very different from their theatrical counterparts in both content and even plot.  Alien A; Aliens A+; Alien 3 B; Alien Resurrection C+  

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